Our View: Despite slowdown, Hudson area still growingThe latest population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau show that the slowdown in the economy has not had a negative impact on the growth of the Hudson area and St. Croix County.
By: Editorial staff, Hudson Star-Observer
The latest population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau show that the slowdown in the economy has not had a negative impact on the growth of the Hudson area and St. Croix County.
Of course, we’re assuming that the Census Bureau is reasonably accurate in their estimates. If that’s the case, some notable events occurred with the latest numbers that include population estimates through July 1, 2008.
Of note is the fact that the city of Hudson surpassed the 12,000-person mark. With the latest estimate, the city of Hudson has 12,196 people — that’s an increase from the 2007 estimate (11,991) and up nearly 38 percent from the 2000 census when the total stood at 8,853.
Another notable item is that the town of Hudson population is estimated to be 8,368 — large enough to keep it as the second largest municipality in St. Croix County. The city of New Richmond is third at 8,259. That is also a whopping 37 percent growth since the 2000 population of 6,124 (the 2007 estimate was 8,197).
All other Hudson area municipalities also grew with the new totals being: town of Troy (4,548), town of St. Joseph (3,861) and the village of North Hudson (3,831). When those numbers are totaled together, the population of the Hudson area is now estimated to be 32,804, a whopping 28.5 percent larger than in 2000 when the number was 25,517.
The county population in the latest figures is 82,487, up from 63,155 in 2000, but only modestly higher than the 80,992 in 2007. The difference is 1,495, which means that nearly half of the county growth in the past year came in the Hudson area.
From April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2008, St. Croix County grew by 30.6 percent (19,332) making it the state’s fastest growing county (percentage-wise). The population in Dane County increased 13.2 percent (56,179) over the same time period.
By numeric increase, St. Croix ranks as the third fastest growing county (19,332). Dane ranks first by adding an estimated 56,179 residents, while Waukesha ranked second by adding 19,877.
I think many people would have expected the numbers to be flat in the year leading up to July 1, 2008. It seemed like housing starts had slowed considerably before that date.
Before reading too much into the numbers, however, remember that the latest figures represent growth up to July 1, 2008. The main thrust of the economic slowdown came after that date and the numbers up until July 1, 2009 could be somewhat different.
What this all means, of course, is that the Hudson area continues to be a popular location. Even if growth slows, it is unlikely that the Hudson area will see population decreases anytime soon. How it all plays out regarding infrastructure (schools, roads, government) remains to be seen. But, don’t look for any downsizing in the near future.